Choosing the Right Eyeshadow for You

by April Reinhardt
(last updated February 21, 2009)

While some people state that you should match the color of eyeshadow to the clothing you're wearing that day, I would argue that you should first match your eyeshadow with your skin color and tone, eye coloring, and hair coloring. After you've mastered the color palette, then you can dabble in matching eyeshadows with your clothing, from within the proper color palette. For instance, I have blue eyes, fair skin, and light brown hair with blonde highlights. Suppose I choose to wear my teal blue blouse with chocolate trousers and matching jacket. Would I wear blue eyeshadow? Never! Although my blouse is blue, I cannot pull off wearing blue eyeshadow, since it doesn't compliment my skin tone, eye color, or hair color. Instead, I should choose eyeshadows from a coppery brown color palette, since they will compliment me—and my wardrobe for the day—best.

So, how do you know what color eyeshadow is best for you? Choosing the right eyeshadow isn't complicated, but first you need to determine your skin color, and then your skin tone. The skin color is easy; you're either fair-, light-, medium-, or dark-skinned. To find your skin tone, go to a department store, grocery store, or pharmacy that sells cosmetics. In that isle you will find a skin tone chart. The chart is clear except for dots of colors in varying hues. Place the chart at the inside of your arm, between your wrist and elbow fold. The hue dot that disappears against your skin determines your skin tone. You should fall into one of these categories: warm, cool, or neutral. Now that you know your skin color and tone, use these tips for choosing the right eyeshadow for you:

  • Warm colors: red, orange, brown, tan, copper, gold, yellow, et cetera. Think of daytime and the natural colors associated with summer and fall.
  • Cool colors: blue, green, purple, plum, violet, gray, et cetera. Think of nighttime and the natural colors associated with winter and spring.
  • Neutrals: black and white.

Choose eyeshadow colors that compliment your coloring by selecting an opposite. For instance, a fair-skinned, cool-toned, blue-eyed woman could choose a tawny brown or coppery eyeshadow palette. Conversely, a dark-skinned, warm-toned, brown-eyed woman should choose plums to compliment her eyes. Here are some more tips for choosing eyeshadow colors:

  • Brown eyes: warm colors, cool colors, and neutrals.
  • Green eyes: all cool colors, and some warm colors, and neutrals.
  • Blue or hazel eyes: all cool colors, and some warm colors, and neutrals.
  • Gray eyes: all cool colors and neutrals.

Try out several different combinations and find out what looks best on you. You can oftentimes buy trial versions of colors or, better yet, have a cosmetologist in a high-end department store give you a makeover, and see for yourself the color palette that looks best on you.

Author Bio

April Reinhardt

An admin­istrator for a mutual fund man­age­ment firm, April deals with the writ­ten word daily. She loves to write and plans to author a memoir in the near future. April attend­ed More­head State Uni­ver­sity to pursue a BA degree in Ele­men­tary Edu­ca­tion. ...


Removing Tinsel from Carpeting

If you love the glitter of tinsel during the holidays, but dread the cleanup afterwards, there are a few simple things that ...

Discover More

Patching Bad Spots in Your Lawn

Whether you have bald or brown spots in your lawn because of extreme heat, dog urine, or grass disease, you can easily remedy ...

Discover More

Cleaning a Dutch Oven

Used over an open campfire, a Dutch oven is a true oven; meaning that you can prepare pies, biscuits, cakes, and breads, just ...

Discover More

The Best Eye Shadow for Green Eyes

Are you one of the lucky few with green eyes? Follow these tips for what colors of eye shadow to use to make your eyes "pop."

Discover More

How to Make Eye Shadow

If you think about how much money you spend on makeup, it's a lot! But if you make your own eye shadow, you not only save ...

Discover More

Applying Eyeshadow

Have you ever wanted to apply eyeshadow, but don't know where to begin? Start by thinking of your face as a palette, and then ...

Discover More

FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured beauty tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

Comments for this tip:

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Subscribe to the Tips.Net channel:

Visit the Tips.Net channel on YouTube


FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured beauty tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

Links and Sharing